Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

North Korea tries to change its image

If you thought Kazakhstan are not getting their PR quite right in regards to Borat, then take a look at North Korea and its latest PR “coup.”

North Korea tried to ban Team America in former Communist states, including the Czech Republic, because of its unflattering portrait of their supremo Kim Jong-Il. Megalomaniac psychotics that regularly torture and execute three generations of a family for the suspicion that one member could be disloyal really should be treated with respect.

But in a new change in PR strategy Kim is holding his own Woodstock or Glastonbury in Pyongyang in 2007. The festival – Rock for Peace- will aim to bring harmony and international understanding.

Big names such as REM and Radiohead have not been confirmed as there are a few restrictions.

No Glorifying:
Non-governmental society
Anti-DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)

Strange the North Korean state glorifies war, commits murder and rape, is imperalistic and is anti-socialist; they might want that for themselves.

Well if you compare how most totalitarian dictatorships have had a brilliant understanding (much to history’s detriment) at image and media manipulation, North Korea is a little behind in captivating international support.

Still, if you are interested I do not think you will have to go to eBay to get tickets.

There could be a big PR contract if you can fill it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Press Gazette is axed

Press Gazette, paper for journalists, is no more.

It seems that publications are axed faster than you can say Iain Dowie. 2006 casualties include the North West Enquirer and PR Business. But the difference between them and Press Gazette is they never had a birthday and Press Gazette had been going for over 40 years.

On a more positive note, the NW publishing scene is strong and vital.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Networking4Business goes early morning

Networking4Business is extending its successful formula to early mornings.

Simply Networking Early will be launched at the Chancellors Hotel & Conference Centre
in Fallowfield on Tues 28th Nov 2006.

The networking begins at 7.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

And the winner is ....

The winner of the PR competition is Dave Stewart of inresidence

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The B2B North West exhibition returned after a year to G-MEX

It has been marketed more thoroughly than last year and so reaped the rewards in terms of attendance.

Was it worth going to? I have my doubts about the value of exhibitions against time and cost for both exhibitor and attendee: the useless giveaways, being pitched about services you have no interest in and the unavoidable sore feet. Well, it certainly satisfied many.

There are many talks worth seeing; Bob Geldof’s talks were well-received as were many others.

I went to the “Impact of future technologies on SMEs” chaired by Mike Ryan of Idaho and featuring Dave Carter of the Manchester Digital Development Association, Dave Crowther of Melandra and James Walker of Cisco.

The essence and conclusions of the presentation and question and answer session are:

Technology will continue to converge

Much technology will be freely available, but the better quality versions will be charged for and the more unreliable and less secure versions will be more popular

Tele-presence (video conferencing) and IPTV on demand will be future technologies to look out for

The job skills of tomorrow will require being able to use innovation for commercial aims and the ability to solve problems

More of us will be home workers

New jobs, such as eBayers, will appear as real career choices

SMEs will be able to adapt quicker and more effectively to a rapidly changing environment than bigger businesses

An enterprises’ customers will be their sales force and their social networking will be their marketing

It reminded me of when I first saw the Internet and realised that something special was happening – that process of rapid change is still continuing!

Monday, November 20, 2006

NW Business Insider discusses blogs

The NW Business Insider featured the great and good discussing the pros and cons of the blog for business use.

It must be a contentious issue because it received 4 pages of comment.

There were a few dissenters claiming that its value was a little dubious or one that claimed that he received a dozen e-mails about his insightful and colourful comments each day. Really?!! There are no comments on virtually any of his blog. But readers prefer to e-mail rather than leave a comment linking back to their blog. And it is a blog with no images and no links and has long diatribes. I do not buy it. Any bloggers out there will not either.

Still, most business people do not have a clue about blogs and so many will be caught up in the agendas of others in the article.

There are those that want to believe, those that do not and those who do not care about using blogs for business.

Just like the attitudes towards websites, marketing and PR.

Friday, November 17, 2006

B2B North West (BEX) returns

The B2B North West expo returns to Manchester's G-MEX on the 22nd - 23rd November.

With over 150 exhibitors, free seminars and networking opportunities it is sure to be popular.

Presentations are bound to be sell outs and include:

Bob Geldof, successful media businessman and visionary
Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic
Gerald Ratner, former CEO of Ratners Jewellery
Liz Jackson, founder of Great Guns Marketing
Simon Woodroffe from BBC’s Dragons’ Den

For more info please go to

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

PushON in the US

Online search marketing agency PushON has pushed the boat out for travelling to a convention by attending PubCon in Las Vegas.

But it seems they have struck a really great deal to be a sole UK distributor for a product that I will reveal shortly.

It seems that was struck in Silicon Valley. Not sure where they are now, but you can follow progress on their blog.

Monday, November 13, 2006

PR gets nasty

I have just come across this incident from Press Gazette, which although is much longer than my normal posts is almost as entertaining and enlightening.

Enjoy and I will get back to more serious things tomorrow:

This is the compelling tale of a showbiz publicist who created a PR nightmare when she sent an email to the wrong person. Adrienne Merrill at the Borkowski agency had been to a party promoting London's Supper Club dating agency. The next morning, Addi emailed her friend, Supper Club founder Tamsin Lonsdale, and was nasty about the event's PR. But Addi also managed to send the email to Laura Lou. And Laura Lou happens to work for Golden Goose — the firm which did the PR for the Supper Club event.

EMAIL #1 Addi emails Tamsin, but the publicist accidentally copies Laura Lou of Golden Goose, into the message

Dear Tamsin,

We all had such a great time last night, fantastic entertainment & drinks and music by the DJ was brilliant — we all danced until out feet hurt!!! As for the PR from Golden Goose… well — the celebrity attendance was what?? Zero? Oh no, let me think now, oh yes Syed (the one that didn't even come second in what was that show, The Apprentice?) He was there. And journalists, well now, I did have a pretty full house crack team of publicists with me, try as we might to spot one, well I think it was what? Zero? Oh, no, wrong again, Chris Sullivan was there. He did let slip to me though that he only popped in to see Mick (the lovely promoter) and he's not exactly a target writer for the Supper Club.

EMAIL #2 Miki Watson, MD of Golden Goose PR, has been shown Addi's email. She has a few words to say and wants to share them with some influential media figures (10 journalists are on the CC list). Settle back for a masterclass in bitchiness…

Dear Adrienne,

We're delighted that you enjoyed last night's Supper Club party; it was fabulous wasn't it! I'm terribly sorry that you obviously don't know your media well enough to recognise some of the UK's most influential press by face. We were looking after Esther Walker from the Evening Standard, arranging a photograph feature for Karen Stretch at the Mail on Sunday Live magazine, introducing some of our guests to Louise Hannah from the Mail on Sunday, arranging a ‘date' with one of the country's most well known jockeys that is being written about by Katie Hind in the London Lite, and entertaining the GQ editorial team who are writing about Tamsin in November. Oh and Helen Nugent from The Times was having a great time in VIP, along with Georgina Pattinson from whom, when she last wrote about an online networking client of us (, generated 9,000 hits for our client in one day. Pretty good contacts, don't you think? But as you don't know them, we thought we'd introduce you to them on this email; as we always like to help people out in PR here at Golden Goose... it's a pretty sad, bitchy industry when you don't, wouldn't you say? As for Dave Benett... it's a shame he didn't get a lead picture for today's Diary, but Tam — he had a fabulous time and your picture has also made a story in today's thelondonpaper with a great plug for the Supper Club. Zoe Griffin is very kindly posting us a copy for you now. Regarding celebrities... well, I don't recall that the Supper Club was meant to be about celebrities? It's about a calibre of person whom you get to meet at the most brilliant soirée. I think last night ticked every box. I don't know if Borkowski solely regards celebrity attendance or celebrity association as the epitome of a campaign's success; but at Golden Goose PR we look at what we've generated in terms of column inches, brand identity and revenue for our client's business. Daily Candy, OK! mag and London Lite pieces which ran even before the party started yesterday were only the beginning. Anyway, I'm way too busy to write about all the other pieces of editorial we're working on as my phone is going and people are asking for pictures...

I suggest, Adrienne, that you get back to doing your job too. Have a lovely weekend everyone, Miki xxx

EMAIL #3 Golden Goose is gathering supporters. First up, London's Lite's Katie Hind emails Addi (and the same CC bunch)…

I thought that Golden Goose were fantastic last night. They never fail to help me out when I need a favour and this quite often leads to fabulous coverage for their clients. The Supper Club will be no exception. Tamsin and the Golden Goose girls will have a great plug in my dating column on Tuesday. xx

EMAIL #4 Addi is acutely embarrassed. She adopts a strategy not normally known in the PR industry: humility (the usual CC mob are included)

I must stress, Borkowski have nothing to do with Supper Club, never have done, never will do. It was my private client who I worked on BEFORE even joining here! Surely you were aware of that Miki? I see you fantastically out bitched me! A true pro. I have much to learn. Sigh. Thanks for the advice, Adrienne We all make mistakes. Addi xxx

NW Enquirer leaves debts of £850,000

The NW Enquirer has left debts of over £850,000.

The paper went into administration after a backer
pulled out and no new investors could be attracted to plug the shortfall.

Unfortunately, a lot of freelancer journalists were caught out and it looks as if their chances of recovering any fees are slim.

Its a shame as the paper would have been a welcome addition to the NW's newspaper skyline, which is crowded with lifestyle titles.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Marking imminent arrival of 100th post

It easy to not keep up a blog. But there must be a fair amount to say as I have got better at keeping this one up as time has gone on.

Anyway, despite the amazing achievement of wiping off some of my early posts, the blog is nearing 100 entries and to celebrate Artisan is offering a free press release. It is open worldwide! as long as the release is for UK distribution.

To enter simply leave your contact details in the comments section (including e-mail)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Manchester Evening News to set-up media hub

The Manchester Evening News is setting up a media hub - MEN Media. The MEN controls over 20 titles, Channel M and Manchester Online. The hub will converge these different interests. Instead of a journalist simply working on one title they will work between titles, working with the best medium for their story. The convergence of these mediums will also entail moving into a state of the art media centre.

The move to work across different outlets so seamlessly mirrors the convergence and continuing convergence of all media channels. The effect on PR will obviously be tremendous. Watch this blog.

Monday, November 06, 2006

U Tube to sue You Tube

After being bought out by Google for £865m, You Tube immediately faced the threat of legal action for copyright. But they did not expect a lawsuit from a small engineering company in Perrysburg Ohio: Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation.

The 17-man company has experienced 68 million hits in August as the world’s illiteracy amongst the online population was cruelly exposed. The Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation has the website address The mix up of identities and surfers’ atrocious spelling has brought the website down a number of times and forced the “victims” to move to a bigger server.

Now Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation wishes to sue You Tube. It could be the best marketing they ever get – why complain? Anyone want to rename their social networking site Artisan? Please.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Liverpool Daily Post distributes free copies

The Liverpool Daily Post has "followed" the MEN in distributing free papers.

From this week the Post is giving out 6,000 papers in Liverpool City Centre. Talking to a contact at the Post today I asked if this had any relation to the MEN's decision to give out free copies or was it designed to boost "sales" so advertising rates could be maintained or bettered.

The answer is "no."

The reason is to ensure that the Post continues to stand out as the business paper of Liverpool. Several hundred copies will be given directly to top business professionals in the city and in so doing the perception of the Post will be maintained. It is not a wholesale giveaway but has very specific aims.

I will let you know how they get on.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Networking takes place all the time

I went to my usual networking event at Holmes Place and although enjoyable I did not pick up any leads.

One of the reasons I go Holmes Place is that they said I could use the swimming pool afterwards.

I did not make it to the swimming pool. I made the mistake of going in the jacuzzi and being so pleasant I could not face going in the cold pool. But I did meet a former colleague who was relaxing in the jacuzzi. He has set up his own company and by coincidence wants PR.

So the misplaced idealism of doing some exercise might pay off. Networking can be very effective informally as it can be formally.